Sunday, April 4, 2010

Walmart Essay

Wal-Mart started with a single little store in Arkansas.  As Barbara Ehrenreich quoted on page 143 of the book nickel and dimed, in 1992 Wal-Mart becomes the largest retailer in the world, 1997; sales top $100 billion. 1998 the number of Wal-Mart associates hits 825,000, making Wal-Mart the largest private employer in the nation. Back when the company was a single store there was no huge rule that was enforced as they do today. It has turned into a multi Billion-dollar Company, and when this happens a company needs to care about their employees. Wal-Mart needs to care about employee benefits, health care, stock options and most of all the security of all of their employees as well as their own company.  One of the thousands of rules that Wal-Mart enforces to protect their assets are drug tests in order for someone to be given a chance to work for them. Some people feel that they should have privacy rights and should have an option when it comes to getting a drug test for employment. Companies need someone who is productive to them, not someone that can be a major liability to the company. Maybe a potential employee goes on his break and smokes a joint comes back and operates one of the many machines. He/she gets distracted and dizzy because of the drug and misuses it. Who would this effect? Who would be responsible? As a business major I rule in favor of the company, this should not be an option. If anything the company should not only give drug tests for employment but also have the right to give random drug tests.

On a Friday night associates go out to parties and have fun. What is the meaning of fun when it comes to people especially teenagers? I can answer that in one word; trouble.  I remember when I first started with Wal-Mart. I was a teenager and luckily I did pass their drug test. It was not that hard as Barbara Ehrenreich says on page 134-second paragraph, “ the first test, for Wal-Mart, is painless enough, conducted at a chiropractor’s office a few miles down the highway from Wal-Mart itself. I’m given two plastic containers-one to pee into and one to hold the decanted sample” how hard is this. It takes only a few minutes However I messed up many times by coming in the next day still a little buzzed and sometimes down the line even during the day at lunch break. My own supervisor would see and pull me off the floor to just stay in the office.  I lucked out, thank god.

Some people would argue that what someone does on their own time is private and it should not matter. Maybe they think that as long as people do drugs off the job or on their own time is ok. Should that be how it should be? I think no way, to an extent! As the people that are responsible for them by law should make the rules while they are at work. If they want to go home and get drunk or smoke a joint, so be it, however when they return to work they better be out of your system. Obviously this most of the time cannot be done as most drugs stay in your system for a few days. When the associates come back to work and seems a little over the edge, a random drug test should be issued. Companies do this because of the protection of them as well as the associates that work for them.  Other people think that it is ok to give drug tests because they know it is what is required to work there and they need a job.  Also because they don’t do drugs and have nothing to hide at all, a test would be no problem at all.

With the hundreds of standards that Wal-Mart incorporates to protect themselves and employees, the result is simple. A great, safe place to work. As Barbara Ehrenreich quotes from the 12-minute video she watched entitled you’ve picked a great place to work. The associates testify to the “essential feeling of family for which Wal-Mart is well known”. In order for the company to keep this image they need to be allowed to give these tests to workers, and always keep workers following company standards while at work.